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-------- Ursprüngliche Nachricht -------- Betreff: Stabilizing Iraq by Iraqis Datum: Sat, 17 May 2003 10:38:18 +0200 Von: KRGinGermany <KRGinGermany@netscape.net> An: Alexander Sternberg <firstname.lastname@example.org> Buero Berlin: Bitte von meinem privaten Konto weiterleiten an IraqQyahoogroups.com. Alexander Baathists, Fedeyeen Saddam, other staunch Saddam loyalists, criminals, WMD sites, banks, places of key civilian importance, etc. All were very well known knowns before 20 March. None were among the known unknowns or unknown unknowns, terms highlighted by the U.S. Secretary of Defense. The fall and stabilization of Baghdad as the key strategic objective on the road to reconfiguring Iraq was always a non-issue. So, why the [avoidable] mess? For the moment, let's forget about 20/20 hindsight being what it is. Up here in Iraqi Kurdistan, news, rumors, and hearsay coming up from Baghdad have been ominous. Baghdad is only a 4-hour drive south and up-down traffic, now without threatening checkpoints, has been inviting. Thousands here have thousands of friends, relatives, and colleagues there. They grew up there, played marbles together. Many up here attended Baghdad universities. Personal observations are deeply affecting personal judgments which are adversely affecting personal views about U.S. intentions and capabilities. Under Saddam, if you were "ordinary," not involved in anything that could be construed to be either pro or anti regime, life - personal security - was quite secure. Politically, there was "a" stability. Today, that's all changed, to the point where many are voicing that life in Iraq was less threatening under Saddam's regime than it currently is under U.S. administration. They don't see the U.S. getting it under control. They are afraid the U.S. will give up and leave as they have done before, here and elsewhere in the world. Iraq is not a third-world country. Repeat, Iraq is not a third-world situation, whatever that might construe in some minds. Iraq is a country of abundant assets, both human and material. Iraqis move, they are skilled and disciplined and hardworking. It was Saddam who in 1991 drew the line separating Iraqi Kurdistan from the rest of the country. Prior to that it was all one country where Iraqis could travel and work and live most anywhere, with some restrictions in some areas, of course. Many people here have living and working experience in many other parts of Iraq. Iraqi Kurdistan is part of Iraq. Since 1991 it has come a long ways. The region has done much for itself. It has plenty of assets. Thus, it is somewhat unfathomable why the U.S. has not taken full advantage of assets readily available here in Iraqi Kurdistan, right here in Iraq. One idea. Under clear terms and conditions, including timeframes, why have the regional authorities not been engaged in providing a package of services to one or more parts of Baghdad, or any other community in the rest of the country for that matter. Many of the professionals here have served elsewhere in Iraq. They know the people, they know the language, they have the skills and other capacities. Iraqis serving Iraqis is not such a bad thing. Package of services? Draw a boundary around a particular area. The regional administration here could provide a full service: security (first and foremost!), water repair (tankering in the interim), electricity repair (standby generators in the interim), repair/resupplying/re-equipping health facilities and schools and other public facilities, lots of repair and paint and whitewash maximizing local participation, cleanup and rubbish disposal, restocking local markets with essential items, reactivating food/flour agents, reactivating standard municipal services, the whole gamut of public services including international communications and Internet services. They've done it up here and there is no reason to anticipate they could not do it very well down there. Let's frankly and openly agree on one thing. The people of Iraqi Kurdistan - Kurds, Turkmens, Assyrians, Armenians, whoever - are very acceptable to Arab Shia and Arab Sunni who may not be so acceptable to each other. Arabs are here, too. I bought my Thuraya satellite phone from an Arab in Erbil who taught me how to connect it to my laptop so I could access email anywhere I happened to be. Some Arabs teach in the local universities. There are now Arab villagers who have been in Kurdistan for centuries who will continue to remain. This summer, hoards of Arab tourists are expected to visit the mountains of Iraqi Kurdistan they have been restricted from by Saddam since 1991. Obviously, they will come without fear, they will come with their families. It's already started. So, why isn't this obvious available asset not being taken full advantage of? Why isn't Iraqi Kurdistan contributing to the security and stability of the rest of the country? Why the hesitancy in engaging a readily available and obviously proven successful asset to get done what urgently needs to be done yesterday. Engineers (civil, mechanical, electrical, chemical, communications, petroleum)? Iraqi Kurdistan could provide 100 in an hour, 1,000 in a day (by the way, half would be women). Skilled technicians and laborers? Trucks and other heavy machinery, with operators? No problem, how many hundreds and thousands? What's going on here? ______________________________________ Los Angeles Times Senators Criticize Rumsfeld Over Instability Plaguing Iraq By Esther Schrader Times Staff Writer May 15, 2003 WASHINGTON — Democratic and Republican senators alike lashed out Wednesday at the military's efforts to stabilize Iraq, reprimanding Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld for not having a "coherent plan" to tackle the wave of violence sweeping Baghdad. Speaking in stern tones to a packed hearing room, members of the Senate's defense appropriations subcommittee said they were concerned that crime and instability in Iraq threatened to undo the military victory against Saddam Hussein's regime. "The lack of stability concerns me," said Sen. Pete V. Domenici (R-N.M.). "It is absolutely imperative that the U.S. maintain order regardless of how difficult it is. "Because without it, there is a real chance that the people of that country will assume that the victory that we claim is not a victory at all," he said. "At this point there is no evidence that you have any coherent plan" to bring order to the fractured country, Sen. Robert C. Byrd (D-W.Va.) told Rumsfeld. The subcommittee is weighing the Defense Department's 2004 budget request. But the budget received scant attention from senators compared with the reports of chaos in the Iraqi capital, where the U.S. is in charge. Rumsfeld called published reports of anarchy in Baghdad "overstatement" but acknowledged that the looting and violent crime there "is a problem." U.S. forces are doing everything they can to bring it to a stop, he added. "The one thing that is central to success is security," Rumsfeld said under questioning from Sen. Ernest F. Hollings (D-S.C.). "We have a full-court press on that." Noting the recent move to replace the Pentagon's handpicked administrator in Iraq, retired Army Lt. Gen. Jay Garner, with former ambassador L. Paul Bremer III, Byrd said, "I hope that the recent shake-up in the civilian leadership of the U.S. occupation authority will help the situation and will not amount to merely rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic." But Rumsfeld took issue with Byrd's characterization of the move, saying Garner "is not being replaced." "From the very outset, it was clearly understood that at some point a senior civilian would be brought in, and Ambassador Bremer is that individual. There is no shake-up," he said. Rumsfeld said both Garner and Bremer, who had arrived in Baghdad on Monday, are doing "terrific" jobs in circumstances complicated by the prewar emptying of Iraqi jails and an infrastructure badly degraded even before the war. Rumsfeld also promised that U.S. and coalition troops would be using "muscle" in dealing with disorder. He did not elaborate, but the Army general in charge of ground forces in Iraq on Wednesday denied a published report that soldiers would start shooting looters. Lt. Gen. David McKiernan said that simple looting is not enough to warrant opening fire on Iraqi civilians, unless soldiers are threatened. Soldiers will, however, arrest and hold those caught in criminal acts, he said. Quizzed by Byrd on why U.S. troops had not secured sites where Iraqis were believed to be developing nuclear weapons before the sites were stripped by looters, Rumsfeld said U.S. forces "had a lot of tasks to deal with." "It is not possible to have enough forces in a country instantaneously to guard every site so somebody won't get into it," he said. Rumsfeld said the Pentagon has no evidence that nuclear materials were taken by looters. Assailing criticism of the pace of the stabilization effort, Rumsfeld said, "We can't make it right in five minutes." He told the committee that 15,000 to 20,000 troops from the Army's 1st Armored Division would arrive in Iraq in the next seven to 20 days, joining the approximately 142,000 U.S. service members already there. The infusion had been announced earlier. With British and other coalition forces, it will bring the total in Iraq to 175,000. Marine Gen. Peter Pace, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the subcommittee there were still 309,000 U.S. troops in and around Iraq and stationed on ships within close range of the country. Rumsfeld vowed daily improvements in Iraqis' living conditions and said the military would make an all-out effort to provide the security needed for reconstruction. "The circumstances of people in that country are better than they were before the war," Rumsfeld said. "They're going to get better every day." ------------------------------------ As politics toughen up, Iraqi groups grow louder over US role AFP BAGHDAD, 15/5 2003 (AFP) — As political groups prepared for their first talks with the new US boss in Iraq, Paul Bremer, local leaders stepped up criticism of what they said was an expanding US grip on their country's future. The groups, handpicked by Washington to help form Iraq's first post-Saddam Hussein (news - web sites) democratic government, say the United States is trying to control too much of the nation's destiny and leaving too little in their own hands. "What's happening now is that the Americans are relying too much on their own advisors," said one official, who asked not to be named for fear of angering his US counterparts ahead of the talks, expected on Friday. "It's already happened at the ministry of foreign affairs and the ministry of industry. It means that whatever minister is eventually named by the government will have no power whatsoever," he said. Facing pressure to speed up the rebuilding of Iraq, the US-British coalition has appointed its own advisors to oversee main government ministries in a bid to restore basic services and bring the war-battered nation back on its feet. But as the various Iraqi groups and leaders jostle for power ahead of a national congress this month to select a new government, charges of heavy-handedness have grown louder and more public in recent days. Adnan Pachachi, a respected former foreign minister who has just returned to Iraq from 33 years of exile, used a press conference this week to slam the United States over the post-war lawlessness terrorising much of the nation. Jalal Talabani, head of one of the two main Kurdish factions, said Wednesday that a US proposal at the United Nations to bring Iraq's oil revenue under temporary coalition control was a threat to Iraq's sovereignty. "It shows the United States and Britain backtracking on pledges we have heard repeatedly," he said. Meanwhile the US-backed Iraqi National Congress of Ahmad Chalabi, which has its own militia established with the help of the Pentagon, has taken the lead in blasting US cooperation with former members of Saddam's Baath Party. "That some Baathists returned to high positions is not acceptable," an INC spokesman, Entifadh Qanbar, said on Tuesday. "The Baathists will make a comeback if they are not prevented from doing so." Some backing away from the United States was to be expected as the various groups try to establish their independence in the minds of Iraqis who will not accept a US-dictated government. But the mounting criticism, unspoken in the first weeks after Saddam was toppled on April 9, has added to the challenge facing Bremer, who took the reins of the US administration in Iraq this week. A career diplomat, Bremer will have to smooth over the cracks which appeared under retired US general Jay Garner, whose early administration of the country featured little in the way of public communication. He will have the lead role in guiding Iraq toward a democratic government and any sign that the United States has overstepped its bounds will spell trouble for the bid to create an effective leadership in the wake of Saddam. The opposition official who asked to remain anonymous said Iraqi political parties were hoping Bremer and his team would understand that the opposition played its part in Saddam's ouster and will not accept a back-seat role. "We'll talk to them as friends and allies ... We hope the coalition will acknowledge our role," said the official, from one of the seven groups on the so-called leadership council which is helping to prepare the new government. Bremer and the top British envoy here, John Sawers, were set to meet with the council, which groups Chalabi and Talabani, but not Pachachi, on Friday. Sawers on Thursday downplayed the criticism. "These are partners to work with through the transition. Iraq's government will be chosen by the Iraqi people under a new constitution that will be drawn up by Iraqis," he said after talks with the other Kurdish member of the council, Massoud Barzani. "This is not a new government," he said. ------------------------------------ -- Ihre bevorzugten Shops, hilfreiche Einkaufs-Hilfen und großartige Geschenk Ideen. Erleben Sie das Vergnügen online einzukaufen mit Shop@Netscape! http://shopping.netscape.de/shopping/ _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. 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